The art of millinery is experiencing a revival, from traditional headgear to the most flamboyant handmade artisanal hats, this age old craft is thriving. One such workshop is owned by Ntombi Mosoane in the small town of Noupoort, where she has realised her dream of designing beautiful hats.
In a time that artisanship’s are being overlooked, millinery is still being taught here in South Africa and across the globe. Local Noupoort resident, Ntombi Mosoane, was funded by Noupoort Wind Farm to attend one of these courses in Pretoria West, at the School of Hat Making last year. A self-taught hat maker, the formal training has enabled Ntombi to hone her skills set and improve her techniques.
Her hats are now being sold to stylish members of her community as well as local churches in Noupoort and outlying areas of De Aar, Colesburg, Hanover and Middelburg. She has also recently received orders from as far afield as Kimberley, giving her the opportunity to expand her business and reputation as a milliner.
The funding provided also ensured that she has the necessary equipment needed in this specialist craft, as well as the necessary business skills and training. She was taught how to cost her materials and price the products accordingly. Ntombi found the know-how to market her product the most valuable.
The long term goal for Ntombi is to become the most well-known hat designer, traditional garment manufacturer and modern fashion designer in the greater area in which she operates. “She would also like to spread her good fortune by being able to employ several members from her community on a full time basis,” explained Economic Development Manager for Noupoort Wind Farm, Livhuwani Nwachukwu.
Ntombi Mosoane’s Hat Making Enterprise, is a beneficiary and graduate of the Noupoort Wind Farm Enterprise Development Programme, which was initiated during 2016. This Programme, which has continued throughout 2017 and still continues to assist those who wish to start businesses, as well as existing entrepreneurs to grow with their business vision. A combination of business skills and technical training as well as coaching was provided over a six-month period. Monthly one hour coaching sessions were conducted with business advisors. Each entrepreneur identified three goals to be achieved by the end of the programme.